Prague Twin

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Busy Bush

It has been a busy week for president Bush.

On Tuesday, he reshufled his cabinet. Later that day, he gave a speech full of politically motivated talking points. He was quoted as saying that "America is safer, but not yet fully safe." It would be a nice place to be for him politically, if true. But my favortie has to be this one...

"Some say Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror. The terrorists disagree.''

President Bush is starting to understand. Yes, Iraq is a diversion from the war on terror, for us. For the terrorists it is their propaganda tool, their recruiting tool, and their fly trap for American lives. Hell yes, this is the center for them. This is the place where they have managed to kill almost as many Americans as in the WTC attacks. It is their trophy, and it seems to be shining itself.

In terms of actually making us safer, however, it is purley a diversion and likely a liability. I doubt al-Queda would have such an easy time recruiting the London bombers had it not been for Iraq. Maybe the war in Iraq made no difference, but it certainly hasn't dissuaded any other tragically lost souls from trying to destroy the empire. I haven't seen any repentent terrorists on Geraldo talking about how Iraq made them see the error of their ways, but I don't watch much Geraldo. Maybe there have been. What I have seen is greater instability and terrorist activity throughout the region.

But getting back to the point, the day after the big speech, Bush confirmed the existence of secret prisons and said that 14 people will be tried in connection with the 9/11 atttacks. These two bombshells were quickly forgotten today when the Pentagon announced new rules of interrogation. And now before I even have time to breath, Bush calls on Congress to endorse warantless wire-tapping. Yes, let Congress approve such a thing.

But coome on man, it is only Thursday! I'm a little overwhelmed!

It sounds like he got the message from all of the sensible people in the world that secrecy gains you very little but it hurts your credibility a lot. Transparency, Sir, is all we ask. Let Congress decide if they approve of your plans (or at the very least let them monitor your programs properly). No one is saying we don't want you to fight terrorism, only that you have to play by the rules, just like everybody else. The fact that terrorist don't play by the rules doesn't allow you to do the same.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and any third-grader can tell you that.

I'm particularly happy about the unveiling of the secret prisons, and the rules of interrogation. Does keeping someone in a secret location help you get information from them? No. Does torture? Most say the information obtained under torture is worthless. I've heard this argument used in the military's defense. "They wouldn't torture because the tourtured will say anything to make it stop." Well, it looks like the administration agrees. And this is good because now no soldier can be tricked into engaging in torture. The rules are clear and good soldiers (which most are) will obey them. There will always be exceptions, but there should never be institutionalized abuse. It is the most unseemly of all things, reminiscent of Saddam Hussein himself.

Bush sure has been busy this week. For once, that seems to be a good thing.


  • Part of the preznit's proposal on detainees would allow the gov't to use secret information and evidence shared with the jury but not with the defendants or their lawyers in these terror trials.

    Lindsey Graham, JAG lawyer said this is ludicrous, has never been done in the history of the United States and would fundamentally alter the way the U.S. justice system works.

    Mark his words because they really mean something. Once again, Bush is using 9/11 and terrorism as an excuse to change the laws and traditions of the United States and move the executive branch closer to dictator.

    Seriously, how would you like to be charged with a crime but not know what those charges are or the evidence the gov't has against you? Because that's what will happen if these fuckers in the Congress give Preznit Dickhead his way.

    I don't undersatnd why they can't do what every other administration in the history of the United States has done and abide by the constitution and the rule of law.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 10:23 PM  

  • PT

    Check your e-mai fromme. The October surprise may have arrived early.


    By Anonymous The Loop Garoo Kid, at 12:46 AM  

  • Excellent description of Iraq as a "fly trap." It sure is working out that way.

    Funny how the Republicans have been showing a different face lately. Suddenly we have clear guidelines for interrogating terrorist suspects, the morning-after pill is available -- hmmm, is there an election coming up?

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 1:25 AM  

  • Part of the preznit's proposal on detainees would allow the gov't to use secret information and evidence shared with the jury but not with the defendants or their lawyers in these terror trials.

    They're also pushing for the admissibility of evidence obtained through coersive tactics (aka. torture).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 AM  

  • RBE et. al.,

    Of course the rules of the tribunal are a farce, but let Congress have an open debate about it and decide. I think once the details of this tribunal start making the rounds on Capitol Hill, it will blow up in his face.

    If not, then we, the people, have a duty to throw the bums out.

    If Congress approves his plan, then God help us all.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 9:29 AM  

  • There seem to be a huge confusion among the America hoi-poloi. I have been following patricularly one neo-con blog, Mike's America, and the good folks there are ready and willing to sign away all the personal rights and protections and toss the laws to garbage so that the dear leader can continue his excellent job keeping them safe.

    In the light that over 40% of you still believe in the Iraqi culpability in the 9/11 mayhem and the conviction that the world is 2000 years old, lets me to believe that Bush has made(?) brilliant tactical move. Where I see democrats coming short in their lousy campaigns is that they try to make sense and the American people don't want to have anything to do with that stuff. Give us feeling of security, real or imagined, simple answers to complex questions and that the God is American! You do that and we vote you in.

    By Anonymous pekka, at 11:11 AM  

  • "Mike's America" LOL. That guy is even funnier than The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live put together. Hilarious imitation of a rightwing automaton. Wait, you don't mean he's serious do you??? Oh my God...

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 11:31 AM  

  • Tom - Mike doesn't joke around and he also doesn't let anything come between him and his incomprehensible ideology. He and the regular suspects on the comments section have given me both laughs and scares. However, every now and then I take a week or two off to gain back some of my deminished mental health.

    By Anonymous pekka, at 1:05 PM  

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